BLM to Update Grazing Regulations

BLM to Update Grazing Regulations

On January 21, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a notice in the Federal Register of their intention to develop an environmental impact statement for the proposed revision of grazing regulations. The agency is looking at ways to “update, modernize, and streamline the grazing regulations and provide greater flexibility for land and resource management.” The BLM currently administers nearly 18,000 livestock grazing permits and leases on 155 million acres of public land.

“Administration of sustainable livestock grazing on public lands is a key part of the Bureau of Land Management’s multiple-use mission. We continue to seek ways to improve and streamline the grazing permit process to achieve greater efficiencies and service to permittees,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management Casey B. Hammond. “This rulemaking effort is designed to strengthen and improve our administration of grazing permits across the West, and we welcome public and stakeholder ideas and perspectives.”

Through the new regulations, the agency is hoping to prevent unauthorized grazing, enhance environmental protections across non-grazing land-use programs, and improve public input opportunities. The agency will be using the 11 “outcome-based grazing” pilot projects currently underway in six states as a model for the new regulations. In particular “lessons learned from developing cooperative monitoring plans and land health evaluations” through the outcome-based grazing initiative may be incorporated in the regulations.

The agency kicked off the scoping process with public meetings in Montana and New Mexico in early February, as well as upcoming meetings in Elko, Nevada on February 18 and Casper, Wyoming on February 20. Written comments on the proposed regulation revisions may be submitted until March 6, 2020.

February 14, 2020